"The trees are in their autumn beauty, the woodland paths are dry": First edition of William Butler Yeats' The Wild Swans at Coole; from the library of personal friend and fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon

  • The Wild Swans at Coole.
  • The Wild Swans at Coole.
  • The Wild Swans at Coole.

The Wild Swans at Coole.


Item Number: 101620

London: Macmillan and Co, 1919.

First trade edition of of this important volume of Yeats’ poetry, one of 1500 copies printed and preceded only by the privately printed edition of 400 copies published by Yeats’ sister on her own press. Octavo, original publisher’s cloth with gilt titles to the spine and gilt decoration to the front panel after the design by T. Sturge Moore. From the library of Yeats’ personal friend and fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon with his ownership inscription to the pastedown. Yeats and Sassoon met through mutual friend and English aristocrat Lady Ottoline Morrell whose patronage was influential in early 20th century artistic and intellectual circles. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, Sassoon became one of the leading poets of the First World War and won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalized autobiography, collectively known as the Sherston Trilogy. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. A superior example with noted provenance.



One of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, William Butler Years was a pillar of the Irish literary establishment and a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival. Yeats' earliest volume of verse was published in 1889 and, in 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Wild Swans at Coole contains a selection of Yeats' later works in which he renounced the transcendental beliefs and style of his youth in favor of a more realistic style. The present first trade edition includes the first appearances in book form of "In Memory of Major Robert Gregory" and "An Irish Airman foresees his Death", two of Yeats's most important poems, each of which concerns the death of the son of Lady Augusta Gregory, Yeats's patroness and the chatelaine of Coole Park. This collection also includes the title poem, "The Collar Bone of a Hare", "Upon a Dying Lady", "Broken Dreams", "Ego Dominus Tuus", "Phases of the Moon", "The Scholars", and "To A Young Beauty".

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